It's early in the morning. The sun has barely risen. The smell of cheap coffee fills your nostrils. You are already ready for the first day at your new job. A nice sharp tie from your grandma last Christmas, and a new, clean and freshly pressed, button down to match your orange caution vest and scuff free work boots. You grab your packed lunch from the fridge and you're off!
Arriving to the jobsite, your new hardhat fits a little too snug but it's okay, it keeps you safe and you can adjust it later. You walk into the modular building where you're greeted by your fellow foremen and forewomen and a group of old people who are holding sleek black binders labeled "City Plans" and behind them you glance at a sketch of a beautiful mint green sign with red letters that says "Welcome to your perfect home".
In a game of "Welcome to..." you are an architect who has been commissioned to build a perfect suburb fully fit with pools in the back yard and parks for all the little graphite children to play.
On the table you are presented with two rows of cards. One row is numbers you'll choose from to fill in an empty house on your sheet, and the corresponding card to the number you chose is the effect you have the option of using to help you make your neighborhood one that every head of an HOA would salivate getting to run.
Once everyone has chosen their pair of cards and resolved their effects, someone flips over each numbered card onto their corresponding effect card and another round of choosing begins.
The game will continue playing rounds like this until one of three conditions are met:
- A player has filled their entire sheet with numbered houses.
- A player has been unable to choose a number card three times.
- A player has fulfilled all three "City Plans" cards.
Commence endgame scoring and pass the ceremonial hardhat and hammer to the winner for them to bring to the next game to defend their title.
How to TeachDon't be afraid to draw on your sheet and show everyone if you feel that would help your players make sense of the rule that you're demonstrating.
- nº1 4 + 4
- nº2 1 + 1 + 1 + 6
- nº3 2 + 3 + 5
Why these City Plans?
I chose these mainly because they do a good job of showing the different sized estates but are also very forgiving. (i.e. If someone blocks off their bottom row in a weird way it doesn't lock them into relying on the other two rows to finish one.)
Before shuffling to set up a normal game pull out one of each of the effects. Then shuffle as normal and separate into three piles.
A note on effect names
"Surveyor" => "Fence"
"Temp Agency" => "Construction"
"Pool Manufacturer" => "Pool"
"Landscaper" => "Park"
"Building Permit Refusal" => "Can't build space"
If you feel comfortable that your players will enjoy the added mouthful of syllables that I refuse to expend energy on, then please feel free to ignore my naming.
Now, instead of flipping over the top card of each deck, place the "Construction", "Fence", and "Real Estate Agent" on top of the decks (i.e. number side up). Have the "Pool", "Park", and "Bis" with the effect side up next to the three decks like a normal game.
Tell your group a short story, (maybe similar to the flavor text I wrote above) to get them chortling, but more importantly to get them an overview of the setting.
Now do an overview of the basics.
House Number Rules
Spend a moment telling them about how they are supposed to fill in the numbers.
- Must be in ascending order - No duplicating numbers without using effects.
In this section I list some very basic explanations for each effect.
Point to the section being talked about.
|"Pool"||If you place the number associated with this card on a space with a pool then mark off the next pool score on the scoring section.|
|"Park"||After placing the number, mark off the next park in that row.|
|"Bis"||After placing the number, duplicate a number by placing the same number in the adjacent space with the word "Bis" in it. Then mark off the next spot in the "Bis" section on the scoring section.|
|Pause*||Check for questions then flip the cards to give your players a taste of how the game will play.|
|"Construction"||If you choose the card with this effect, go ahead and mark off the next spot on the scoring section, then place the number but you can increase or decrease the number by up to two.|
|"Fence"||After placing this number you can draw in a line between houses to help section your houses into "estates".|
|Pause*||Take a break here for questions and tell people what qualifies as an "estate"; A section of fully filled in houses between two walls.|
|"Real Estate Agent"||After placing this number pick an estate size on the scoring section and increase it's value. At the end of the game the revealed number is how many points each estate is worth.|
Remind everyone that all the effects are technically optional to do then ask if anyone has any questions before moving on.
You can quickly explain that if someone cannot take use one of the numbers presented that they have to mark off the next spot in the "Can't build" spaces which count for negative points at the end of the game.
Scoring a City Plan
The main thing here is to help your players understand that they are trying to create estates that match the requirements on the City Plans and then what happens when they complete a plan, but you can explain that part once someone finishes a card for the first time.
Shuffle the cards used for the explanation into the decks randomly so you can just continue with play once you're all done!
"Welcome To..." is a relatively easy game but people can get easily bogged down with the multiple effects that each card has. This breakdown should help you to communicate the basic effects in a clear and consice way so you're able to get into the game quickly. If you have any questions please feel free to shoot me an email or message me on Twitter!
Hopefully, this guide makes it easier to get "Welcome To..." to the table.
- Cory 🎲